When I was sixteen, I met and fell madly in love with the guy that I was 100% sure would be my husband. (Don’t all sixteen year-olds 🙂 ) He was my first real live relationship. He was my first consensual sexual encounter. He was in prison by the time I was 18 and I was devastated. I clung to him and our “ideal” relationship for years, even keeping a pair of low top red Chucks he gave me in 1993 until 2010. It was this type of romanticism that would keep me engaged in some pretty shaky dealings in the relationship arena for the bulk of my adult life.
From the time he was sent away and sometimes now (I won’t front), I have chased that ideal “first time”; those butterflies we first feel when we fall in love … or lust. I’ve chased, at times, with great risk emotional and physical well being. I have had – many – sexual partners. There, I’ve said it. Let’s set aside all the emotional “shit” that happens. I have sacrificed my physical well being on more occasions than I will cop too here by having unprotected sex; too afraid that he wouldn’t want me if I asked him to put one on; too caught up in physical pleasure to have practical sense. It is truly by the grace of a power greater than me that I have emerged from these experiences with my health in tact.
HIV/AIDS is real, not to mention syphilis (which is rampant in my age group), gonorrhea, and chlamydia. There is plenty of information about how to protect ourselves. There are plenty of products out there that allow us to protect ourselves, and have a lil additional fun to boot ;). So why do even the most educated and driven women, particularly black women, lose their power in the bedroom? I’m not entirely sure, but we need to search ourselves for these reasons and find the resolve to stop bullshitting with our lives.
It was these things and the beautiful women in my life who live big despite their HIV+ status that I thought about on the National Women and Girls AIDS Awareness Day. Hopefully they’ll make you think.
Grandiose shout out to Jameka S. Whitten who’s social media activism talk matches her activist walk. Click her name to read why she Rocks The Red Pump. Click here to find out how you can too, while supporting the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness. Sorry Jameka, I got bad ankles, I have to resign to low top red Chucks.
I discovered this gem of a documentary on Netflix. It is no longer streaming unfortunately, but I highly recommend it.
All of Us.